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The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc. by [Lethem, Jonathan]
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The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, etc. Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 466 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A high-wire juggling act where all the balls are kept spinning perfectly" (Irish Independent)

"The pleasure for readers is twofold: on one hand, there is the intrinsic interest in the subjects...On the other, there’s the fact that this is Lethem telling us these things, and how it gives an insight into his own creative practice" (Guardian)

"A collage of what makes Lethem tick" (Monocle)

"Thoughtful and rambunctious ... a jazzy, patchwork memoir ... [a] fresh, erudite, zestful, funny frolic in the great fields of creativity" (Booklist)

"Hefty and remarkable... These byways, all of which make room for eccentric flights as well as proper essays, augment the charm and impact of what Lethem prefers to call an autobiographical collage" (The New York Times Book Review)

Review

National Book Critics Circle Award finalists
A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2011

"Hefty and remarkable .....These byways, all of which make room for eccentric flights as well as proper essays, augment the charm and impact of what Lethem prefers to call an 'autobiographical collage, ' a phrase he lifts from Vonnegut. This influence seems only natural, for dominating all is Lethem's prime concern always: the novel....generous....exciting....openhearted, unconventional."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Did I say I love this book? Well, OK then, I love this book....bring[s] a novelist's sensibility to these essays, to find a through line, to approximate a narrative. It offers a way, in other words, to rethink the collection as a book in its own right -- and not just that, but a book about a big idea."
--"The Los Angeles Times
"
"He's a novelist who has spent a lifetime creating his own subversive pantheon, a jumpy CBGB's of the literary soul....Several of the essays here marinate in the fish sauce that is literary gossip.....feisty, freewheeling....funny"--"The New York Times"
" "
""The Ecstasy of Influence" is, more than anything, a record of Mr. Lethem's life as a public novelist, a role for which he is obviously well suited.....Mr. Lethem has such a gift, and "The Ecstasy of Influence" is evidence of it."--"The New York Observer"
"The writer I most wish was my best friend....impressively omnivorous new collection of mostly non-fiction....reveal a lively, even manic mind at play across a wide and wonderful series of subjects that are threaded together, mostly, as a kind of autobiography of a would-be writer becoming a struggling writer and then a successful writer while all the while remaining a voracious reader.....This book is its own kind of dense and dreamy zoo, and even if you don't listen to Echo Echo in your basement apartment, you'll still find much in here to enjoy and know you're enjoying and know that L


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1289 KB
  • Print Length: 466 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (8 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0069SPCEQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #556,213 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're new to the boy from Brooklyn's non-fiction (so much better than his fiction*), maybe start with The Disappointment Artist, equally diverting but as Diet Coke compared with this cream bun or charlotte russe of a book. Upbeat and bushy-tailed yet not afraid of words like interstitial, the emergence of Lethem and his bookish ilk must give us hope. Not much, but some. Read the three lines on Dave Eggers (p26). Read the novel in miniature that is the last paragraph of Clerk (p29-30). Pure comfort reading, written with relish and so to be ingested

* though of course making fiction is largely what his non-fiction is about
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the opening pages a bit offputting - as Lethem explains that he always puts on a 'Lethem persona' before writing anything - but once I'd overcome my reluctance to continue, i found I enjoyed this collection of essays and criticism a great deal. Not that I read every word of every piece. But I was moved to read the great bulk of it, whether or not the subjects previously interested me. And I left with some highly memorable images of Lethem as a clerk in a bookstore for many year, of the Brooklyn in which he grew up and his parents (he wants originally to be an artist like his father and joins his father's life drawing class in his teens), of Brooklyn novelists (he leaves me feeling I should check some of them out having read his prefaces to their books), his enthusiasms for SF writers (I have the pieces about comics and superheroes a miss) and his interests in film, in music (long pieces on James Brown and Bob Dylan) and of course the ideas in the title essay, which are about how we just take things of others and make them new and that's the way it is...I expect I will try his fiction before too long...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His essays are as fine as his fiction 11 Nov. 2011
By A reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was beguiled and a bit haunted by some of the pieces in "The Disappointment Artist," Lethem's first essay collection, so I looked forward to this new one. It's a catch-all compendium like authors used to be allowed once they'd written a bunch of novels and established their right to be heard in all their personal idiosyncrasy: fat, rich and bulging, a prose scrapbook with edges hanging out, addenda and random thoughts filling the cracks between solidly set, brilliantly prosed pieces. Mailer's "Advertisements" is modestly invoked (like Nawmin, Lethem scatters brief and costly comments on "the talent in the room," that is, other novelists of his generation), but I think as well of Vonnegut's "Wampeters," King's "Danse Macabre," and Woollcott's "While Rome Burns." I don't always share Lethem's enthusiasms (Dick, Cassavetes), but I'm willing to roll with his gentle voice and unbullying advocacy; and when we do match on people (Shirley Jackson, Manny Farber) he makes me feel them anew. Of course the title piece is a great literary monkeyshines, no less entertaining or thoughtful for being the sort of stunt any writer wishes he or she'd thought of pulling first.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 29 April 2016
By Bienamie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really, it's my daughter who loves it. According to her, his writing is brilliant and these essays are worth reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars into the warped mind of a gifted writer 19 May 2014
By kathrine e sendy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
He distills all as he perceives. The rest of us are left in a two dimensional world. How perceptive and concise.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One mans opinion. 25 Jan. 2015
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not that there isn't truth in this book, there are many. There are also points that you may find yourself disagreeing with but that is the beauty of reading this book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great performance 7 Oct. 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fine collection of essays, short stories, essays about essays and short stories and ruminations about his craft. A must for fans of Lethem.
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